On the 8th of June it is the 20th anniversary of the passing of legislation to make New Zealand nuclear free. To get a local slant on this historic occasion The Beach 99.4fm invited Waiheke woman Maynie Thompson onto our Island Life magazine show to discuss her involvement in the anti-nuclear movement in the 1980s.
Maynie is an amazing woman, on first name terms with both Davis Lange and Helen Clark. In this interview she discusses the inspiration for her involvement in the anti-nuclear movement and some of her adventures as a front line activist.
Waiheke became a hotbed of activism in the eighties and Maynie and other local women found they had plenty of support as they took their message of peace to the world. In 1983 she participated in a march to Wellington calling for the New Zealand government to take a stand on the nuclear issue. Enthused by that experience, a year later Maynie visited Britain to join the womenâs camp at Greenham Common protesting the deployment of American nuclear missiles on British soil. She wasnât merely a passive participant in this protest, she was involved in cutting the fence and raiding the Greenham Common military complex.
Two years later Maynie again ventured overseas to participate in the Great Peace March across the United States walking much of the way from Los Angeles to Washington DC again calling for peace and an end to the nuclear threat.
Maynieâs activism continued into the 1990âs with her participation in the 1995 Peace Flight to Tahiti. This action was to protest French Nuclear testing on the Pacific atoll Mururoa and to lend support to the indigenous people of Tahiti and other Pacific nations who were in the region were the French chose to carry out their nuclear dirty work.
It was a real pleasure talking with Maynie. She has dedicated many years to the campaign for peace and wanted to emphasise the overwhelming support she had received from the Waiheke community over this time. She justifiably looks back on her involvement in the peace movement with pride.